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Collaborations with the Third Sector: Achieving Impact from Research. Susan Davidson, PhD Research Adviser Age UK. Introduction to Age UK. Mission – to improve the lives of older people Social enterprise and charity 7 areas of activity 170 local Age UKs 3000 employees

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collaborations with the third sector achieving impact from research

Collaborations with the Third Sector: Achieving Impact from Research

Susan Davidson, PhD

Research Adviser

Age UK

slide2

Introduction to Age UK

  • Mission – to improve the lives of older people
  • Social enterprise and charity
  • 7 areas of activity
  • 170 local Age UKs
  • 3000 employees
  • 50,000 volunteers
  • There are over 200,000 charities in the UK
  • and some much bigger than us!
we aim to underpin everything we do with evidence
We aim to underpin everything we do with evidence
  • Ways we use research:
  • Services
  • Policy-making and influencing
  • Campaigns
  • Public education
  • Fund-raising
  • Enterprises – products and marketing
research for later life age uk research
Research for Later Life (Age UK Research)

Overall aim - to produce research solutions for an ageing society by:

  • Funding and commissioning
    • ‘Research into Ageing’ (Health & Well-being)
    • Social research
    • Services and evaluation research
  • Translating research findings to produce an evidence base for policy, practice, products and services (including market research)
  • Developing mutually beneficial research relationships at all levels
example care in crisis campaign
Example: Care in Crisis Campaign
  • Problem: many older people contacted Age UK about their issues and challenges with social care.
  • Age UK realised this was a systemic problem, and a priority for us to action.
  • Campaigns Team: gathered research – evidence about problems, needs, what does and does not work. Planned and carried out a campaign
  • Research Team: in addition to helping gather research, worked with Dr Julien Forder, a Principal Research Fellow at PSSRU at the London School of Economics, and his model to estimate future costs of social care; modified model and make predictions and recommendations for Government in a report.
  • Media Team: helped get the issue and Age UK’s efforts publicised.
  • Policy Team: met MPs and other key people, gave interviews, blogs.
  • Local partners and shops: gathered 130,000 signatures on petitions from around the country to give the Government, met local MPs
  • The report and petition were read by key decision-makers in Government; these helped shape a White Paper on this issue and a new bill.
more examples of age uk research impact
More examples of Age UK Research Impact
  • Development of the exercise programmes in the NSF falls services (2001)
  • Development of the DWP ageing strategy in ‘Opportunity Age’ (2005)
  • Development of the Social Exclusion Units strategy in ‘A Sure Start to Later Life’ (2006)
  • Development of treatment for reducing post-event inflammation in thrombotic stroke (2009)
  • Changes to the diagnosis and treatment of urinary incontinence (2010)
  • Removal of the default retirement age (2011)
challenges that charities have with research
Challenges that charities have with research
  • Small amounts of money to spend
  • Limited access to published research
  • Information overload
  • Different priorities
  • Academic research not easy to engage with
  • Messages – ‘so what’?
overcoming these
Overcoming these
  • We need researchers to work with us!
  • ‘Stakeholder’ input from the beginning, not just a letter of support
  • Help us understand findings and their implications, how they could fit in with or update existing resources, possible ways of using them
what researchers get out of this
What researchers get out of this
  • Impact!
  • Getting findings known, disseminated, used – services, influence policy-makers/politicians, practitioners, people and their families, the public…
what is research impact
What is research impact ?

Impact is defined as an effect on, change or benefit to the economy, society, culture, public policy or services, health, the environment or quality of life, beyond academia

Impact includes but is not limited to:

• the activity, attitude, awareness, behaviour, capacity, opportunity, performance, policy, practice, process or understanding

• of an audience, beneficiary, community, constituency, organisation or individuals

• in any geographic location whether locally, regionally, nationally or internationally

slide11
While changing behaviour and practice are the golden ideal, these things are difficult to do and to prove
  • Why should I change?What’s in it for me?
  • People need to see what the benefit is to them. Specifically for practitioners and managers:
  • Improving efficiency/help make job easier
  • Reduce cost (or at least be cost-neutral)
  • Increase income
  • What do I need to do?
  • People need easy to understand and follow steps, not a report
our research team can get messages out to many audiences within our scope through
Our Research Team can get messages out to many audiences within our scope through:
  • monthly presentations to staff and invited others
  • monthly bulletin to a professional audiences
  • blogs
  • articles on our website
  • pod casts – short interview with you
  • Age UK Radio for interviews
  • Campaigns, Media, Policy, Services, and Fundraising Teams, local partners & shops, our relationships with key people…
  • See our web pages for example of our communication products http://www.ageuk.org.uk/professional-resources-home/knowledge-hub-evidence-statistics/
things to consider
Things to consider
  • Which organisation/s could use your findings? How?
  • Who to approach within an organisation?
  • Everyone is busy and overworked
  • Communication throughout organisation
  • Communicating to/engaging with a lay audience
  • Differing time scales
  • General lack of money (best for you to build impact and dissemination costs into your grant proposals)
  • Best to get in before you start…
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Thank you!

Please feel free to contact me:

Susan Davidson, PhD

Research Adviser

Age UK

susan.davidson@ageuk.org.uk